Annular Solar Eclipse on 15 January, 2010
visible in Sri Lanka

The Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) says a rare astronomical phenomenon-an annular solar eclipse will be visible in Sri Lanka on January 15, 2010. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s antumbral shadow traverses Earth (the moon is too far from Earth to completely cover the Sun), says ACCIMT.

During the maximum phase of an annular eclipse, the Sun appears as a blindingly bright ring surrounding the moon. The last total solar eclipse was visible to Sri Lanka on June 20, 1955. An official says the forthcoming annular eclipse can be viewed in Kankasanthurai where the annularity will last about 10 minutes. He believes KKS will be the best place to be on this day.

The ACCIMT which is the only research institute with an Astronomy Department is planning to conduct an observation session in Jaffna. The institute is also planning to do a parallel observation, most probably at Kalpitiya, considering the uncertainty in weather conditions and the other logistical reasons.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, has indicated their willingness for a joint programme with the ACCIMT in view of the perceived interest of the tourism sector regarding the event.

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